Wednesday, December 12, 2012

IP Filings Growing Globally

A new WIPO report shows that while the global economy continued to underperform, intellectual property (IP) filings worldwide kept growing strongly in 2011. It also finds that China’s patent office became the largest in the world, as measured by the number of patent applications received. Before 2011, China already accounted for most filings of utility models (UMs), trademarks and industrial designs.1

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2012 shows that patent filings worldwide grew by 7.8% in 2011, exceeding 7% growth for the second year in a row. Similarly, UM, industrial design and trademark filings increased by 35%, 16% and 13.3%, respectively.

“Sustained growth in IP filings indicates that companies continue to innovate despite weak economic conditions. This is good news, as it lays the foundation for the world economy to generate growth and prosperity in the future,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) overtook the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2011 to become the largest patent office in the world, after having surpassed the Japan Patent Office (JPO) in 2010. In the 100 years before 2011, only three patent offices – Germany, Japan and the United States - had occupied the position of largest office.

In the Report’s foreword, Mr. Gurry points out that “even though caution is required in directly comparing IP filing figures across countries, these trends nevertheless reflect how the geography of innovation has shifted.”

Industrial design applications worldwide grew strongly over the last two years. In 2011, design filings increased by 16%, following 13.9% growth in 2010. This considerable growth was mostly due to strong growth in China. SIPO accounted for 90% of total growth from 2009 to 2011. The 775,700 industrial design applications filed worldwide in 2011 consisted of 691,200 resident and 84,500 non-resident applications.

Unlike patents, the list of top 20 offices includes 8 offices located in middle-income countries. China – a middle-income country – received the largest number of design applications (521,468) in 2011. Turkey, another middle-income country, received 41,218 filings, which is larger than the number of filings at the JPO or the USPTO. Between 2010 and 2011, the IP offices of China (23.8%), India (16.7%), Mexico (17.2%), Turkey (17.6%) and Ukraine (17.5%) each saw rapid growth in filings.

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